Friday, July 25, 2014

Footnote to The Interpreter's Voice(s)

The first post earlier this month about The Interpreter's Voice(s) has come as close to 'going viral' as any post on this blog is ever likely to get. Well over a thousand page views. (A page view is Google's unit of measurement for its statistics of visitors to blog posts.) Apparently, though, most of its readers were disappointed, because only 200 of them went on to read the continuation post. What were they expecting?

Never mind. It received approval from places as far apart as Japan and Uruguay.

From the latter, a Professional Expert Interpreter writes to say that she too is blessed with a pleasing speaking voice. She also provides me with a quotation from Leonard Cohen that I particularly like:
As Leonard Cohen so humbly puts it in his Tower of Song: "What can I do? I had no choice... I was born with the gift of a golden voice."
Thank you Lionel. Thank you Trini.

Leonard Cohen. The Tower of Song. From his album I'm Your Man, 1988. It's on YouTube: click here.

Leonard Cohen. Source:


  1. Those articles were nice. I don't know what people were expecting from them.

  2. Can't really agree that Leonard Cohen, for all of his other talents, had a golden voice; at least not a golden singing voice. He didn't really sing. Chanting would be a more apt term! Especially later in life. In his early songs, he sort of droned. This is not a criticism; the drone is an integral feature of traditional music cultures around the world. Cohen used what he had to good effect.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I think we met briefly at Almuñécar. I'm particularly glad to hear from you because I was once a student myself at AUC. I spent six unforgettable months of 1950 in the School of Oriental Studies as part of my Arabic degree at SOAS – very unusual in those days. There was no translation or interpretation then, but by the time I went back on a visit in 1980 there was a Certificate in Simultaneous Interpreting. I noticed most of the students had a background in journalism or broadcasting.
      As for Leonard, my point was not that he has such a good voice but that nature and not training is responsible for it.

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